After some fierce fighting between British and Argentinean forces, the Falklands Islands’ Governor, Rex Hunt, surrendered to the Argentinean commander-in-chief Admiral Büsser. The Argentineans had succeeded in their long-held aim of taking the Falkland Islands, or Las Malvinas, as they called them. But of course, this wasn’t the end of the story.
The Argentinean military junta’s assumption had been that the British would not mount a military operation to regain the Falklands, some 8,000 miles from London. The original plan had been to mount a lightning action by Argentinean troops followed by a withdrawal, leaving only a skeleton occupation force. But it transpired that Leopoldo Galtieri, the Argentinean leader, had made a serious misjudgment.
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was determined that control of the islands should be wrested back from the Argentineans by military force. Even before the full invasion, as tensions had been rising in the wake of a confrontation on another of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, British Navy chief Sir Henry Leach had advised Thatcher that, “Britain could and should send a task force if the islands are invaded.”